Realistic Textile Sculptures of Hearts Are Dedicated To Forgotten Women

Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin

Women have been overlooked throughout history, but artist Ema Shin honors their lives in her series of carefully crafted heart sculptures, entitled Hearts of Absent Women. Red, plush, and adorned with sparkling beads, these works of art merge different types of handicrafts—traditionally female pursuits—while their anatomically correct structure highlights the existence of women that have been erased from the past.

“I was born in Japan and grew up in a traditional Korean Family,” Shin says. “My grandfather kept a treasured family tree book for 32 generations, but it only included male descendants’ names, not daughters. In my art, I have always tried to celebrate women and their historical handcrafts. These sculptural hearts are made from embroidery, handwoven tapestry, and papier mâché to recognize and celebrate the silent behind-the-scenes domestic duties of women and represent not only her emotions but serve as offerings or amulets for her protection.”

Beautiful to look at, and big enough to rest in your hand, these pieces are sentimental reminders of forgotten women. The surfaces of these heart sculptures are decorated with an array of textures, from feathery strands to tendrils of stitches to knots and beads. This colorful tactile quality imbues each piece with a lively personality reflective of the complex inner and outer lives these women lead.

You can purchase archival giclée prints of Shin's work photographed by Matthew Stanton via her website, and keep up to date with her latest work by following the artist on Instagram.

Melbourne-based artist Ema Shin creates realistic sculptures of hearts using textile materials.

Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin

These soft, bead-trimmed works are part of her series, Hearts of Absent Women.

Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin

They are dedicated to past women who have been forgotten.

Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin Textile Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin

Ema Shin: Website | Instagram
h/t: [Brown Paper Bag]

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Ema Shin.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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